Power & Place: good energy practice in the transition from fossil fuel dependency

2 - 4 October 2009
Centre for Alternative Technology, Straw Bale Theatre

The most recent scientific evidence on both climate security and energy security reveals a situation more urgent than had been expected. However, it's not too late, and solutions do exist.

A great deal of experience on the transition from fossil fuel dependency is available to share, on a range of different scales and from a range of different regions. This conference will explore 'good practice' case studies, looking at not just the technologies, but also the human stories, how the projects got off the ground, what the barriers were and how they were overcome, and how people benefited.

This conference is kindly supported by the Carnegie UK Trust and EU DG Environment support to INFORSE– Europe, which means that we are able to offer very reasonable delegate rates of £45.00 per person, or £90.00 with accommodation.

If you have any questions please contact Deborah Sale on 01654 704973 or email zcb2events@cat.org.uk

Power and Place Conference Programme

Friday 2nd October

15.00 - 18.00

BT Room

Arrivals and registration

18.30 - 19.30



19.30 - 21.00

Straw Bale Theatre

Opening Session - Drivers For Change

Why communities should develop their own energy projects: an overview of climate security, energy security & international security - Paul Allen (CAT)

The European Picture: EU energy policies driving change, plus how we can drive the EU, linking local with European actions - Gunnar Boye Olsen (INFORSE)

Saturday 3rd October

08.00 - 09.00



09.15 - 09.30

Straw Bale Theatre

Good Energy Practice - Introduction

09.30 - 10.00

Good Practice: practical project examples from across the EU – Gunnar Boye Olsen (INFORSE)

Gunnar will focus on a wind power cooperative in Sweden, a biomass-based district heating cooperative in Denmark, a wind power project in Germany, and Goessing, the Austrian renewable energy village, plus a rich wind power village in Spain.

10.00 - 10.30

Good Practice: why haven’t we done better? – Peter Harper (CAT)

Why aren’t there more community energy projects in the UK, and why haven’t some of the existing ones worked as well as we hoped for? Peter Harper investigates.

10.30 - 11.00

CAT Visitor Circuit

Refreshments at The Big Feast – refreshment and discussion break

Autumn is the season for food festivals, and this year the Centre for Alternative Technology is joining the smorgasbord of harvest events with its very own sustainable food fayre, The Big Feast. Power & Place participants will be able to enjoy a range of thirst quenching delights, including freshly pressed apple juice, pedal power smoothies, and hot spicy apple cups.

11.00 - 11.30

Straw Bale Theatre

Good Practice: practical projects from the Dyfi Valley, Wales – Andy Rowland (Ecodyfi)

The Dyfi Valley, where CAT is located, has a cluster of small-scale, community-based renewable energy schemes. Andy will describe some of these, including a farm-based hydro and a cooperative that owns two wind turbines, explaining how they came about and what problems face such initiatives.

11.30 - 12.00

Building a Library of Good Practice – Tobi Kellner (CAT)

How do you “inform, inspire and enable” the public about sustainable solutions? CAT’s free information service is currently building up a ‘Library of Good Practice’, which presents real-life case studies. This session will introduce the library and illustrate how the project uses different media to present sustainable technology at different levels and from different angles.

12.00 -13.00

What Constitutes Good Energy Practice? Panel debate and discussion

Panel: Paul Allen, Gunnar Boye Olsen, Peter Harper, Tobi Kellner and Andy Rowland

13.00 -14.00


Buffet Lunch

14.00 - 15.30

Outdoor Tours

CAT Energy Systems: an endeavour towards best practice

CAT has always been a test-bed for alternative energy ideas and technologies, willing to experiment with proposed solutions that some times work to plan, and sometimes don’t! CAT renewable energy specialists will lead tours focussing on the pros and cons of the renewable energy systems that feed into CAT’s district heat main and electricity supply.

15.30 - 16.30

CAT Visitor Circuit

Refreshments at The Big Feast – refreshment and discussion break, plus time to visit CAT’s gift and book shop

16.30 - 17.30

Straw Bale Theatre

Scaling It Up: Isle of Eigg – Lucy Conway

With no mainland electricity connection, and after decades of using diesel generators, the people of community-owned Isle of Eigg switched on their own renewable electricity supply in February 2008. In a unique system, wind, water and sun provide 24 hour power for the island’s 85 residents. Lucy Conway will explain how it all happened.

17.30 -18.00

Round up of the day’s discussions

19.00 - 20.00



20.00 - 21.00

Straw Bale Theatre

Film: Power and Place– the energy story of Wales (25mins)

Discussion with the film makers John Burgan and Paul Allen

Sunday 4 October

08.00 - 09.00



09.00 - 10.00

Straw Bale Theatre

The Energy Future for Britain & the EU

  • A Zero Carbon Britain scenario. How much we can power-down demand, and how we can power-up the UK's renewable energy reserves? What are the 'economic implications' arising from new zcb:2 research? – Paul Allen
  • Lifestyle implications of implementing a Zero Carbon Britain strategy – Peter Harper
  • Zero Carbon Strategies from EU countries – Gunnar Boye Olsen

10.00 – 11.30

Straw Bale Theatre

Sharing examples of good practice– participant presentations

This is the chance for up to six participants to present their own projects. We are looking for presentations on real-life projects that are actually underway, exploring how they were started, what were the motivations, who were the people, what were the barriers and how they were overcome. If you would like to make a 15 minute presentation please fill out the relevant section on the on-line booking-form. Powerpoint projection facilities will be available.

11.30 - 12.00

Closing Discussion

Conference Ends

Copyright © 1995-2009 Centre for Alternative Technology Charity Limited, a company limited by guarantee
Charity no. 265239; Company no. 1090006, registered in Wales; registered office: Llwyngwern, Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 9AZ; VAT number: 377 8917 83